How To Protect Your Business Network From Cyber Attacks
- By Natalie Wilson
As more companies continue to expand their business through remote employees following the pandemic, they also must find ways in which they can protect their business from cyber risks. Although it is something that all businesses understand that they must have, cyber security is often an afterthought and is typically considered to be an additional expense.
However, it’s not until the business falls victim to a cyber attack or breach that the real benefits of quality cyber protection become clear. A lot of businesses think that just because they are a small business, they won’t fall victim to a cyber attack.
But, around 81% of cyber attacks happen to small and medium-sized businesses, simply because they are less likely to invest in proper cyber security. But, how do you ensure that your business is protected against cyber attacks? Let’s take a look at some of the simple ways that you can increase your cyber security measures.
Back Up Your Data
Backing up your business’s data will ensure that, should your business ever come under a cyber attack, you can easily recover any data that may get lost. If you store important or sensitive information, then it’s vital to ensure that this is protected and, fortunately, this is a relatively inexpensive task.
It’s a good idea to use different backup methods to ensure the safety of your important files. Typically, a good backup system would include:
Daily system and data backups to a portable device
End of week server backups
Quarterly security reviews and server backups
Try to make backing up your data a habit and look to do so on a portable device, such as a USB stick or external hard drive. Store these devices offsite as this will give your business an added advantage should there ever be an unfortunate situation where the premises is robbed or damaged.
You should avoid leaving devices connected to the computer when not in use for transferring data as they can be infected in the event of a cyber-attack. Alternatively, you can also look to back up your data through a cloud storage solution, ideally in a way which uses encryption when transferring data and provides multi-factor authentication access.
Train Staff In Cyber Security Best Practices
When it comes to cyber security, you are only as strong as your least informed employee. The biggest cause of cyber attacks is through human error, whether that be someone clicking on a phishing link they get in an email or using weak passwords.
It’s critical to ensure that your employees are aware of the ways in which cyber criminals can trick them into revealing sensitive information and what signs to look out for. For example, spotting suspicious emails is easy when you know to look for unusual email addresses and deceitful links. Train them on how they are partly responsible for safeguarding the business from these kinds of attacks.
When it comes to device security, it’s important to use strong passwords and passphrases to gain access. Passphrases are passwords which commonly use a phrase or a collection of random, different words which are easy for humans to remember, but tricky for machines to try and solve.
Secure passphrases should:
Aim to be at least 14 characters long, or four random words put together.
Include capital and lowercase letters, special characters and numbers.
Be unpredictable. Whilst a sentence can make a good passphrase, a group of unrelated words can create a much stronger password.
Be unique - don’t use the same passphrase for all your accounts.
Have A Contingency Plan
No matter how prepared you believe your business is against the potential of a cyber attack, it’s a good idea to have a recovery and contingency plan in place. This is where the importance of data backup comes in, as if you have correctly and recently backed up your business and company data, then you can quickly recover this should your systems be under attack. Have a plan in place should an attack happen as this helps to reduce panic and means that you can ensure that all the right steps are followed.
If you aren’t prepared for a cyber attack and fall victim to one, then there are some things you can do. Cyber incident response helps businesses quickly recover from cyber attacks and can recommend further cyber security measures to protect your business in the future.